(written from a Production point of view)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
With the Discovery's spore drive taking them into the mirror universe and Lieutenant Stamets completely incapacitated, the crew discovers the horrors of the Terran Empire and must masquerade as their counterparts to find a way home. Lieutenant Tyler discovers there may be more to his post-traumatic stress disorder than just remembering torture at the hands of the Klingons.
Act One Edit
Act Two Edit
Act Three Edit
Act Four Edit
Memorable quotes Edit
"(In Klingonese) Whom do we seek?"
"How do we find him?"
"Give us light to see."
"Will he hide from us always?"
- - L'Rell and Ash Tyler
Background information Edit
- This is the ninth episode to feature the "mirror universe", which was first seen in TOS: "Mirror, Mirror". The Star Trek: Enterprise two-parter "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" were the last mirror universe episodes to air prior to this installment. Technically, however, this could be considered the tenth episode set in that universe based on the "In a Mirror, Darkly" two-parter connecting the TOS episode "The Tholian Web" into the mirror universe (revealing the fate of the USS Defiant, which was originally featured in that original series episode). It could also be considered the eleventh mirror universe episode if you include "Into the Forest I Go", which did show the mirror universe at the end very briefly, albeit not by name.
- This episode is one of four not to have the words "mirror" or "glass" in the title despite being set in the mirror universe. The first three were the DS9 mirror episodes "Crossover" (the first mirror universe episode in DS9), "Resurrection", and "The Emperor's New Cloak" (the latter of which happened to be the last of the DS9 mirror universe stories).
- This is the first television episode of Star Trek to be directed by Jonathan Frakes since VOY: "Prototype" in 1995.
- The show's producers ran Culber's death with GLAAD to win over their approval and to avoid invoking the "bury your gays" criticism. 
- L'Rell attempts to use a Klingon prayer to reawaken Ash Tyler's memories of Voq. This prayer was previously used in "Battle at the Binary Stars" where it was recited by Voq and T'Kuvma shortly before the latter's death.
- It is established that the ship might have entered a different universe through detecting a quantum signature, the dialog closely mirroring a similar scene in "Parallels". This is also the first explicit hint that the mirror universe is of the same nature as the infinite quantum realities of that episode.
- The Vulcans or a faction of them are shown to be once more in rebellion against the Terran Empire, a century after the mirror Hoshi Sato used the USS Defiant to become Empress of the Terran Empire in January 2155. In "Mirror, Mirror", Mirror Spock is depicted as serving as XO and science officer of the ISS Enterprise in 2267, under the mirror universe version of Captain Kirk.
- The ISS Shenzhou and ISS Discovery are shown not to have their doors marked with the emblem of the Terran Empire anywhere aboard, unlike either ISS Enterprise or the ISS Avenger. Although the emblem doesn't appear on the doors of the ships, it is shown emblazoned on the floor of the ISS Discovery bridge.
- The emblem of the Terran Empire is shown in a different design than previously shown in both "Mirror, Mirror" and the "In A Mirror, Darkly" two-parter. Curiously, the Earth itself is mirrored in the emblem, which was not previously the case.
- Chronologically, this is the earliest reference to the Klingons of the mirror universe.
- Tilly being captain in an alternate universe was foreshadowed in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum", when an increasingly confused Stamets addresses her by that rank.
- Lorca adopting a Scottish accent as the ISS Discovery's engineer references Montgomery Scott. Some have taken this to mean Lorca probably either knew or knew of Scott by the time this episode is set.  (At this point in time, Scott had been in Starfleet for about fifteen years.)
- Burnham impersonating her mirror counterpart (who is presumed dead) is reminiscent of Benjamin Sisko having to impersonate his presumed dead counterpart in DS9: "Through the Looking Glass".
- At the Continuing Voyage Tour convention in Chicago on 16 September 2017, Jonathan Frakes revealed that Star Trek: Discovery would be doing a mirror universe episode.  
- CBS All Access is promoting this episode as the start of "Chapter Two", due to premiere eight weeks after the previous episode, which was promoted as the end of "Chapter One". While previous series often had periods which did not see a new first-run episode being broadcast (usually rerunning earlier episodes in the interim), particularly when in syndication, this is the first explicit broadcast break in a Star Trek series, making this the first mid-season premiere in Star Trek history.
Production history Edit
- 9 November 2017: Title publicly revealed 
- 7 January 2018: Premiere airdate on CBS All Access
- 8 January 2018: International release date (outside Canada and the USA)
Links and references Edit
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
- Doug Jones as Saru
- Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
- Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
- Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Guest starring Edit
- Wilson Cruz as Hugh Culber
- Mary Chieffo as L'Rell
- Sam Vartholomeos as Danby Connor / Danby Connor (mirror)
- Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer / Keyla Detmer (mirror)
- Patrick Kwok-Choon as Rhys
- Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
- Sara Mitich as Airiam
- Ali Momen as Kamran Gant
- Oyin Oladejo as Joann Owosekun
- Ronnie Rowe Jr. as Bryce
- Chris Violette as Britch Weeton
- Romaine Waite as Troy Januzzi
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Tim Cody as ISS Shenzhou crewman
- Al Vrkljan as ISS Shenzhou crewman
- Unknown actor as Captain Spoeneman (voice)
Stunt double Edit
50 Kills; 100 Kills; 20th century; accent; adrenal; agony booth; Andorian; bacon; Battle of the Binary Stars; beef stew; beef with mushrooms; black alert; brainwashing; breakfast; Bridge Crew; Burnham, Michael; Buran, ISS; chicken; chicken stew; chocolate cake; chondroblast-cell scan; coconut crisp; Constitution-class; Cooper, ISS; Cooper, USS; coup; Crestian flu; cultivation bay; data chip; data core; dinner; Discovery, ISS; Defiant, USS; egg; Elpha; emperor; evasive maneuvers; fascism; femur; First Officer; fish and chips; fruit; galactic center; Galactic Time; Gotthelf; ham; ham schnitzel; ice cream; Imperial Starfleet Academy; Isik; Klingon raider; lasagna; laser cannon; lateral vector transporter; Lorca, Gabriel; lunch; Manchurian test; marrow-diminution procedure; Master of Poisons; mirror universe; moisture level; mycelial network; neurological disregulation; omelet; Organia; pad thai; personality engram; Porathia; PTSD; pulled pork; Purmata VI; Quam; quantum reality; quantum signature; radius; racism; random memory sampling; relative humidity; salad; Sarcophagus; Sector 006; Shenzhou, ISS; soup; Sorna Prime; spice; spinal cord; Spoeneman; spore drive; spore germination rate; Starbase 46; Starfleet; Starfleet Medical Center; Starfleet; steak; Terran Empire; Terran Empire rebellion; Tilly, Sylvia; Valor; vegetable; Vulcan; Vulcan cruiser; witch; worker bee; Wurna Minor; xenophobia; yellow alert; yogurt
- "Despite Yourself" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Despite Yourself" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Despite Yourself" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
|Mirror universe-related episodes|
|ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly" • "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"|
|DIS: "Into the Forest I Go" • "Despite Yourself" • "The Wolf Inside"||TOS: "Mirror, Mirror"|
|DS9: "Crossover" • "Through the Looking Glass" • "Shattered Mirror" • "Resurrection" • "The Emperor's New Cloak"|
| Previous episode:|
"Into the Forest I Go"
| Star Trek: Discovery|
| Next episode:|
"The Wolf Inside"